Museum of Odesa Modern Art presents an exhibition by Zoya Sokol “Belka” from 30 May to 30 June 2013. Why did two dogs go into space on the Sputnik 5 spacecraft? On 19 August 1960, two dogs, Belka and Strelka, flew into space? And why did Yuri Gagarin fly there on 12 April 1961? To explore the depths of the unknown? To explore the Earth from Space? To obtain new materials in zero gravity? To create a military space base? No! All of this, as well as many other purposes for which people fly into space today, were far ahead of us. The flights of dogs (and the first astronaut pilots) were dedicated to studying the fundamental possibility of flying into space and finding a living organism there. Little depended on them. They were test subjects. They were used. And even if they were honored after a successful flight, it was only to emphasize the importance of what had been achieved to record the next success of a great country. They were the cogs in a large mechanism. Z. Sokol’s remark that “among the many portraits, photographs, and archival materials dedicated to astronauts and space scientists, we have never seen any materials from the life of Belka, the first dog-hero-cosmonaut, is understandable.”
The author “managed to find and restore some of Belka’s family photographs. Many of them, of course, remained in classified archives, and many were irrevocably damaged by time or lost. For example, a photo of a party at Korolev’s dacha, a photo of Belka’s unofficial meeting with Nikita Khrushchev during his trip to Russia cannot be restored. Only two pictures taken after the flight were found. But what little we have found speaks for itself more than volumes of biographies.”


The exhibition will open at the MoOMA on 30 May at 4 p.m.

The exhibition will run from 30 May to 30 June 2013.